Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What in the world?

I was going to write about my scintillating day yesterday. It is quite a funny story and perhaps I'll get around to it here in a minute. I made the mistake of looking at the Xanga frontpage when I signed in, something my beloved Sarah has started me on, since she periodically writes the featured question of the day. There was a post there which was on Krissy Cole's site but written by Dan of the Theologian's Cafe. I used to have a lot of respect for Dan, not really for his theology but for the way he expressed himself. Today's post has disabused me of that random admiration. I guess I'm just a fat, stupid stay-at-home homeschooling mom (aka social reject) but I don't get the point of posting something like that. I think I will take Krissy's/Dan's advice and spend less time on Xanga...especially reading their drivel.

Now, yesterday. Yesterday Rachel left to visit her grandparents for a week. They live in Florida, and Rachel took her first plane ride since she was a wee tot. She was nervous about it, but not nearly as freaked about the whole experience as Sarah was last year. She has, however, called us more in one day than Sarah did the entire week she was gone. I think that's more due to the fact that she really digs having a cell phone at her disposal than anything else, but hey, I'm a fat, stupid homeschooling mom, so what do I know?

Her flight was to leave at 9:38 or something like that. Since she was flying out of our "local" airport, I figured we could leave at 7:15 and get there with plenty of time to check in, etc. Shouldn't have been thinking, I guess. Too bad Krissy/Dan didn't post their polemic on Sunday so I could have been spared everything that happened yesterday when the airline moved the departure time up by 30 minutes. We left on time, got there earlier than I'd anticipated, and went to wait in a long line, since we couldn't do automatic check-in at the kiosk. (I was to get a security pass so I could accompany her to the gate, which you can't do at the kiosk.)

We finally got to the front of the line where I was told that I would have the honor of paying an extra $140 dollars to allow my daughter and her luggage to board the plane and have an eye kept on her by the flight attendant. When did airlines start charging for luggage to be transported along with the passenger? And why did the unattended minor fee change from $25 last year to $100 this year? Or maybe it's just Delta Airlines. Anyway, that was rather offputting but not nearly as freakifying as the pronouncement that the plane was leaving from Gate B9 30 minutes earlier than I'd known about before. I immediately cursed myself for not checking to see if there was a change in the flight time the night before. I told Rachel we needed to HURRY and we made our way quickly to the x-ray machines.

There we met with more problems. Last week, my darling daughter received a birthday gift from her bosom pal. The gift was a really neat Maui Toys Water Bouncer. I haven't been able to find a picture of it online and I'm too lazy (probably because I'm a fat SAHM) to take a picture of it here and process it. The ball is maybe 5" in diameter and filled with some sort of liquid and blue glitter. Despite my telling her repeatedly not to over-pack, she decided that this was something she just had to have with her in Florida. And on the plane. So she put it in her carry-on bag. As we approached the guy who checks tickets and boarding passes, she pulled it out of her bag and said, "Do I have to take this out and put it in a tray to go through the x-ray machine?"

Naturally, the guy looked at it and said, "You can't take that on the plane," and we had a problem. Rachel just didn't get that her beloved ball could be seen as a potential explosive. She also didn't get the fact that they weren't going to keep this potential explosive at their station for me to pick up when I returned from walking her to the gate. (She also wasn't getting that they weren't going to keep the plane for her just because she's cute and clueless, but that was another story.) After debating this a few minutes between ourselves (and realizing that the minutes continued to tick for her plane to board and leave), I gave her the ultimatum. "You can leave this here, knowing that it will be thrown away the minute our backs are turned, and have me accompany you to the gate, or I will take this back to the car [in the parking garage] and probably miss walking you to the gate. Those are your choices." She chose the ball.

I was not an especially happy camper but I told her fine, she'd have to go through the machines herself, board the shuttle to the gate, and get to the gate and FAST. I'd try to catch up with her but no promises. And she HAD to catch that plane (there was no way I wanted to deal with my fil if she didn't). I hugged her, told her I loved her, and left with her stupid ball in my hand.

As I walked to the parking garage, I remembered all the times I'd walked back there, mostly after taking my mother back to the airport when she'd come to visit. Before I even knew what I was doing, I was running with that stupid ball, through the halls, to the parking garage and out to the van. As I have stated before, I don't run. I didn't even run willingly when I was a slender wisp of a girl and I certainly don't choose to run in my current incarnation as an obese SAHM. But here I was, running, so I could attempt to...what? Be there for my daughter at the gate? I guess so. Motherhood is indeed a strange and powerful thing. Not only did I run to the car, I ran back and the gate guys whooshed me through to where my darling daughter was standing in the same line, at the end, with the cell phone cradled against her ear.

I could have strangled her.

Although it looked like most of the people she'd been in line with before had made it through, she didn't. She was trying to call me on the cell, for what reason I never asked. I'd left my cell (and purse) in the van when I dumped her ball in and ran back. We finally got through the x-ray machine with only a small brouhaha when I sent my ID and security pass through the machine in the pocket of my coat instead of holding it in my hand like and intelligent (and probably thin) person would have. The advice of the x-ray attendant? "You'd better run or you'll miss your flight."

Ya think?


At Cincinnati's airport, you take a shuttle train to the gates in Terminal 3. You can walk it, but it's a long walk and I had no desire to attempt an OJ through the airport again. When we were on the train, I told Rachel, "Now look, when we get to B, we need to book. We must run, if you're going to have any hope of catching this plane." A young (thin and attractive) woman standing nearby said, "Where are you going? My plane is about to leave too." It was determined that her gate was right next to ours and we were all going to have to book. We took off at at trot when the doors opened and faced the escalator which would take us up to B. Rachel was having issues with her bag so I took it and told her to RUN behind that lady and get to the gate. I don't know what I would have done if she'd actually made it onto the plane without her bag but I wasn't going to take a chance I didn't have to.

In typical Rachel fashion, the bag was loaded. I don't know what she had in there but it must have weighed 30 pounds or more. If you think that's not much, take 30 pounds of something to a staircase and run up it as fast as you can, attempting to make it in not very much time or your father-in-law will yell at you. Or something like that. Fortunately, when the young (thin and attractive) woman got to the top of the escalator, one of those little transports was waiting on her, to get her to the gate faster. I sort of asked if we could ride too, not really listening for an answer before we hopped aboard. I was very thankful not to have to run the rest of the way with Rachel's bag. And so were my legs. The entire episode made them look askance at me for the rest of the day. And you haven't lived if you haven't had your legs look askance at you. Just sayin'.

We made it to the gate. As we ran up, the gate attendant asked, "Are you Rachel?" When we gasped in the affirmative, he took her tickets and worked whatever voodoo magic on them that they do while I breathed a prayer for her safety into her ear, while hugging her. And holding her bag. The gate attendant asked if I wanted to walk Rachel down to the door of the plane and Rachel said, "Yes, she does!" We were off.

So, she obviously made it onto the plane and apparently had a splendid time. I'm glad. And she's having a good time with her grandparents, as we've heard many many times in her phone calls. But that little jaunt totally threw me off for the rest of the day.

I'm going to do my little fat, stupid SAHM thing now. Y'all have a good day!

1 comment:

Julie said...

I used to participate in "Forced Fun" running when I was in the Army. I don't think my knees can take it. That is because I am an OLD, fat social reject who homeschools my child so she doesn't learn how to "deal with the realities of life." Realities like a locked classroom for kids with behavior disorders where she will be socialized to think that "normal" behavior is anti-social and where her freedom is limited because the school doesn't feel like accommodating her brain difference.

Dan@thetheologianscafe is an social moron who does not understand freedom to be different. But, I am alright with that... as long as he keeps his attacks to verbal and written missives and doesn't try to legislate what I am and am not allowed to do!